Transit fares and Inflation

Transit fares seem to go up all the time, especially if you live in Vancouver or Toronto. But, doesn’t everything get more expensive? I thought I’d do some preliminary checking on how transit fares have gone up compared to other products.

In 1983 BC transit (precursor to Translink) did not have zones – you could travel throughout the whole system with a simple ticket, similar to Toronto’s system today. A ticket cost 75 cents, which according to this American Consumer Price Index inflation Calculator , is equivalent to 1.68$ today. But if you live in Vancouver you know that the current cost to transverse the entire translink system is not 1.68 or 1.75, but 5$. Moreover, even a single zone ticket costs 2.50.

In Toronto, an adult ticket to ride the TTC in 1981 cost 65 cents. According to that same inflation calculator, a ticket should cost 1.60$ today. But it doesn’t – it costs 3$. Nearly double the rate of inflation!

I wonder if similar increases in fares since the 80s have plagued other North American cities. If anyone knows of a comprehensive study on this topic, or even just other examples that interest them, please comment below.

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